How would you like to tap into a potential audience of 500 million daily active users? Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, most users on Instagram never even get close to a fraction of a percentage of their potential audience.
They’re sending posts to a few hundred followers, maybe even a thousand or so, but never getting through and doing the numbers they want to. Building a massive following on Instagram takes commitment, effort, and know-how.
Thankfully, no matter how big or small your budget, there are free, comprehensive resources you can use to up your Instagram game. If you want to understand Instagram, it’s possible—and with only a few online resources, you can learn how to create a following through both organic and paid means. Save that money you could be spending on courses and tutorials and spend it on the part that really matters.
1) The Basic, Comprehensive Primer
If you’re using Instagram for your business and trying to build up a following, you need to make sure you’re doing it right from the very start. The best way to do that is to find a comprehensive primer that helps you get it set up. Thankfully, Kicksta has an extensive guide that covers best practices for everything from your profile to your hashtagging practices.
No matter what level of expertise you’re at, you’ll find something that can help your business in the guide. It’s one of the most extensive free resources out there, and it’s from a company that specializes in maximizing followers for the Instagram platform.
You’d do well to listen to what they have to say.
2) Instagram PPC Straight From the Horse’s Mouth
You might not know this, but Facebook’s support for Instagram includes free e-learning courses designed to help you learn how to use Instagram’s various capabilities. This makes sense—they want to help people get the most out of the platform so they keep using it, after all—but a lot of people don’t know about these free, in-depth, simple courses.
One of the biggest things this can help with is advertising. If you want to grow your following, sooner or later you’re going to have to interact with Instagram advertising, and there are a couple of courses specifically tailored towards that.
Using advertising effectively can be like using steroids on your follower count. Understanding how the platform really works from the very people who run it will give you a leg up.
3) An Expert’s Take on Instagram Marketing
Neil Patel’s a very well-known Internet marketer. He’s managed to build up a significant following for his opinions on social media marketing, PPC, SEO, and more—and unlike many, he backs up his work with his own testing as well as relying on other people’s sources. That makes him an ideal person to write about how to use Instagram effectively as a business.
Patel’s guide is a little older than some of the other resources here, but something that he does that makes his guide useful is the marketing advice on how to run a campaign. He explains what strategies tend to be most effective, some common options you can use to attract people, and what it takes to get to the next level.
Even if some of the specifics change due to the platform’s evolution, good marketing is good marketing. Some things are ageless, and good campaigns rely on the same underpinning principles no matter what platform or era they come from. If you want some expert advice, you’d be well advised to listen to him.
4) Using Influencers Effectively With Hootsuite
If you want to build up a following yourself, the power of influencers can help you immensely. You can lean on their networks as a lever that magnifies the work you put in yourself, and with that lever you can get followers in a hurry—especially if you choose your niche well.
With Instagram influencers on your side, you can drive followers back to your account from attractive sponsored posts, create demand for your products, and start positive word of mouth.
That’s where Hootsuite’s guide comes in. It’s clear, lengthy, well-illustrated, and easy to follow for even newbies. It covers every aspect of managing an influencer marketing campaign, finding influencers in your niche, and even comes in handy if you want to be an influencer yourself. And best of all, that information is completely free.
You’d be surprised how much great information is out there for free that can help you bring your Instagram marketing to the next level. From guides to e-learning courses, you can take advantage of these resources to educate yourself, guide your use of resources, and understand exactly what you’re doing.
A marketing degree is great if you have it. Marketing experience is great, too. But you don’t have to have either to make a success of Instagram marketing. You can create a following easier than you think—use the information that people are giving you for free and you’ll be well on your way.
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Lucas Miller is a freelance blogger, content marketer and advocate for what he likes to call, “Editorial Entrepreneurship.” When not working to strengthen Echelon Copy and Green Splatter, he’s busy reading, writing or running alongside the Wasatch Mountains in Provo, Utah. Also, for what it’s worth, he claims to have an incredible head of hair.